McCain and his people have been trying to convince voters that the Senator has always been genuinely and deeply pro-life. But Michael Scherer at Time uncovers evidence that McCain might be a pro-lifer of campaign convenience:
"I'd love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary," McCain told the Chronicle in 1999. "But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."
Apparently, McCain, the presidential candidate, forgot that he was anti-abortion:
Almost as soon as he said it, McCain's aides were running away from the quote, and McCain has maintained since then that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision that should be overturned. He does not mince his words: “I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned,” McCain said during the South Carolina primaries. Back then, confusion over McCain's abortion stance was a problem for the McCain campaign, a weapon used against him by conservatives who said he could not be trusted.
This doesn't look like a case of ignoring nuance to falsely portray McCain as a flip-flopper. Either McCain didn't know what his position on abortion was supposed to be or he accidentally revealed his real feelings about abortion, much to the chagrin of his campaign staff. I don't have a problem with him being pro-choice or pro-life, but I do have a problem with his dishonesty.
This reminds me that McCain also called Falwell and leaders of the religious right "agents of intolerance." Only when he realized that he needed the religious right to get elected president, did McCain develop an affection for the religious right. Listening to McCain just 8 years later, one can only guess his real feelings about the voters he is courting today.
H/T: Ed Brayton